We see leaves around us all the time, but have you ever taken the time to really investigate them? In this activity you’ll measure leaves, uncover how they grow and change and make some artwork using leaves.
Leaves and plants are important in nature, providing habitats and homes as well as food and fibre for other living things such as birds, animals and insects. Leaves also provide oxygen as a process of the leaf growing.
Plants use the leaves to take in sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. This process is called photosynthesis. This is done in the coloured part of the leaf (green, red, yellow). The sunlight hits the leaf and starts the process. The leaf converts the carbon dioxide gas into a simple sugar (a carbohydrate) to grow and releases oxygen into the atmosphere.
The leaves have stems and veins to transport water and sugars around the plant. This network of veins can be seen using a magnifying glass.
STEM learning in this activity is defined as:
- Science – nature connection, biology – leaves as a part of nature.
- Technology – using magnifying glasses to investigate.
- Engineering – plant parts and structures – veins for moving the water and sugars in the leaf.
- Maths – measurement – the size and shape of the leaf.
Safety advice: Encourage your kid/s to collect leaves from the ground rather than from the plant where possible. This will help protect the plant. If you do need to collect leaves from plants, help your kid/s be very gentle and only take the leaves they need, rather than pulling whole branches.
Most younger kids will need support to complete this activity.
Ideal for: Early Learning Ages 3 – 4
- Fresh air
- Be creative
Time required: 40 minutes
Curriculum connections: Science, Mathematics, STEM, The Arts, Numeracy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking
- EYLF – Outcomes 2, 4 and 5
STEM – Leaf Investigators – Early Learning
- Pictures of leaves (optional)
- Leaves from outside
- Magnifying glass (if possible)
- Drawing materials (crayons)
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[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.